Skip to comments.Yet another proposal to “fix” the GOP presidential debates [A "chess clock", seriously?]
Posted on 06/17/2015 7:22:33 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The Annenberg Debate Reform Working Group (part of the Annenberg Public Policy Center from the University of Pennsylvania) is releasing a new master plan to fix the presidential debates this week. The proposals may contain a few nuggets that have potential, but they largely run contrary to the direction that the GOP has been going since the autopsy of 2013. Here are a few of the highlights.
- Increase direct candidate exchanges and otherwise enhance the capacity of candidates to engage each other and communicate views and positions;
– Reduce candidate gaming of time-limited answers and create opportunities to clarify an exchange or respond to an attack;
– Enlarge the pool of potential moderators to include print journalists, university presidents, retired judges and other experts.
– Use alternate formats for some of the debates, including a chess clock model that gives each candidate an equal amount of time to draw upon.
– Expand the role of diverse media outlets and the public in submitting questions for the debates;
– Increase the representativeness of audiences and questioners at town hall debates.
As I said, in general terms some of these sound like laudable goals, though it’s unclear how they plan to implement them. It would be nice to see more direct interaction between the candidates, but that doesn’t get any easier when you have anywhere from ten to eighteen people on the stage. I think everyone can also agree that the time-limited answer format leaves us with little more than a series of live campaign advertisements with practiced talking points being recited by those capable of remembering them. But some of these other ideas sound straight out of a horror movie.
Giving all of the candidates a “chess clock” that they need to hit when they start and stop talking sounds, frankly, nuts. That’s just one more thing for the candidates to manage which has nothing to do with their policies and positions. And when they “run out of time” they are simply shut out of the rest of the debate? That’s crazy. Also, additional reliance on audience or, worse, YouTube questions does nothing but add a gimmick because somebody on the “inside” still has to select which questions to use. In fact, it could be argued that town halls should be reserved for actual town halls. Debates are something else.
Additional proposals coming from this group seem to seek to turn the debates into some sort of generic public service announcement.
- Embrace social media platforms, which are the primary source of political information for a growing number of Americans, and facilitate creative use of debate content by social media platforms as well as by major networks such as Univision, Telemundo, and BET, by providing unimpeded access to an unedited feed from each of the cameras and a role in framing topics and questions;
– Revise the debate timetable to take into account the rise of early voting.
I suppose that maximizing the opportunities for people to see the debates is an admirable idea, but we also need to remember that they are being broadcast by private companies who rely on market share to make a living. This isn’t just something they do to be good citizens. Asking the hosting broadcaster to simply give away their live feed for free to be streamed over Periscope or handed off to a dozen, less viewed cable outlets is probably a bit too much to ask, particularly if those outlets aren’t willing to kick in toward production costs.
One other idea of possible interest which they bring up is eliminating live audiences at all debates which are not town halls. As I said above, these shouldn’t be town halls in the first place, but getting rid of the live audiences is a good suggestion in my opinion. In the early days of television, sit-coms always included a laugh track so the audience would know when they were “supposed” to laugh and hopefully infect them with the giggles so they would feel like they were enjoying the show more. Audiences vary from location to location and somebody has to be in charge of screening them. You’re never going to get a nationally representative audience in one hall, and you’re just biasing the national audience if the local favorite is getting gangbuster applause and another viable candidate is generating nothing but catcalls.
All in all, we still have challenges ahead of us to perfect the debate process going forward. But there’s not much here which looks like an improvement and some of it could actually make things worse. And the chess clocks should never see the light of day.
START TALKING/ARGUEING/DEBATING ....
WHEN IT'S OVER, IT'S OVER
IF A POLITICIAN CAN'T GET IN THE RING FOR 12 ROUNDS
HE AIN'T WORTH MY TIME
WE'RE TRYING TO SAVE AMERICA
NOT WIN AN ELECTION
Have George Stephonopolous and Brian Wilson mediate the debates. One’s impartial and the other’s a war hero.
Mostly drooling lib BS. Just lock them all in a dark room, and whoever comes out after some time is the winner.
a Beach Boy?
The "debates" are just a series of pre-planned speeches. There's no need for a moderator at all. My proposal:
This levels the playing field, and eliminates any bias by the moderator by removing the moderator altogether.
Of course, they NEED a way to pre-empt whatever Conservative/Republican candidates are saying! :)
You can skip all the debates. No matter who participates and how they are configured, the Democrat media will be unimpressed by the GOP candidates, and their only interest will be in who they can crucify for making “gaffes.”
Hillary could fall down dead drunk when taking the stage, and they would compliment her on her brevity. This is a rigged game that serious candidates should refuse to play.
The clock might work well for many candidates, if it is not wound or powered.
Those listening would know that, like clockwork, the candidate talking would be right at two points during the day.
The “chess clock” is simply implemented. Once clicked “on”, the candidate’s microphone is “on” .... When you run out of minutes .. No more microphone.
When clicked “on” - The current microphone is clicked “off” - NO EXCEPTIONS.
He, or she, who manages their time well, who does NOT interrupt others with long distractions or with prepared “speeches”, gets ALL the time at the end of the debate. He who yaps early ... Is silent at the end.
That was impressive. I’d support that format.
I’d like to see each candidate, one after another, spend 5 minutes answering one question: What would YOU do to “fix” America?
From those short speeches, we citizens SHOULD learn what each candidates thinks are America’s biggest problems, and learn how deeply each has thought about the problem and his or her proposed solution to that problem.
For example, JEB has such a superficial understanding of “Common Core”, that, IMHO, he will self-destruct, if he tries to “sell” it.
Stack the audience with conservatives, give them little buttons to push when they don’t like something said by one of the candidates. If enough are pressed, a bucket of slime falls on the candidate’s head. For a second offense the candidate falls through a trap door, bye bye.
There are and will be dozens of candidate forums in many states with this format. The whole debate about debates is ridiculous; to start with, they're not even debates, they're joint press appearances.
What makes the 'debates' interesting in the slightest is seeing a candidate answer a question he might not be prepared for. That's why the media loves 'gotcha' questions.
Use alternate formats for some of the debates, including a chess clock model that gives each candidate an equal amount of time to draw upon.
Ability to utilize time efficiently is an important mental asset. When they hit that button, it kills or activates their mike. If they run out of time ....they will look like the fool they are.
Excellent idea! But we need to also ensure that Conservatives are not pushed out of the debates.
The game may be rigged but the best candidate can win by winning big. There is only so much water the leftist media can carry for their guys (or gals).
I am expecting Ted Cruz to run circles around all of the other candidates on both sides of the aisle.
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